UN strongly condemns human rights violations in Iran in face of increasing repression of human rights defenders

Paris, Tuesday, 27 November 2012 – The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) welcome the passing today of the resolution on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran by a resounding majority in the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee of the UN General Assembly.

Karim Lahidji, vice president of FIDH and president of LDDHI, said today:
“The number of countries supporting the resolution points to the increasing isolation of the Iranian regime, and clearly indicates a growing consensus in the international community that the repression of human rights by the Islamic Republic of Iran shall not be tolerated. The Iranian government has no other choice but to adhere to international human rights law and to invite the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran and other thematic rapporteurs of the UN.”

Today, 83 countries voted in favour of the resolution, 31 against and 68 abstained.
FIDH and LDDHI  particularly welcome the fact that the new resolution reflects many concerns and recommendations that our organisations submitted to members of the UN in early October, in which we outlined gross violations of human rights that continue to take place in Iran, including:

–     An increasing number of executions, carried out both secretly and publicly, including using appalling and inhuman methods of execution including stoning; the continued practice of executing minors; as well as the use of the death penalty to target members of ethnic minorities and for those found guilty of “sexual offences”;
–    Failure to uphold the due process of law; widespread and continued use of torture and other cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including to obtain false confessions;
–    Attacks against freedom of expression and association, such as the severe censorship  and closure of newspapers and blocking  of Internet sites; persecution of human rights defenders including trade unionists;
–    Numerous elements of the revised Islamic Penal Code which violate international human rights, including  the expansion of the scope of ambiguously defined offences punishable by death;
–    Gender inequality and violence against women, including the establishment of new regulations banning women from studying certain university subjects;
–    Persistent discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities;
–    Targeting of human rights defenders, specifically the prison sentences imposed on members of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre;
–    The extremely unfair and discriminatory vetting procedure in parliamentary and presidential elections.

“The UN vote is also a condemnation of the continued repression against Iranian human rights defenders and their families. We have to strengthen our support for all rights activists, lawyers, unionists, journalists and others to counter the increased repression against human rights defenders,” said FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen.

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